History, Culture and Events from around the UK
From 27 January 2017, London’s Charterhouse will open to the public for the first time in 600 years. The former Carthusian monastery was built in 1371 on a medieval plague burial site. When the monks were brutally purged during the dissolution of the monasteries, Charterhouse became a mansion for wealthy noblemen and royalty – Elizabeth I met her ministers here before her coronation in 1558.
In 1611, England’s richest citizen Thomas Sutton bought Charterhouse, establishing a charitable foundation for up to 80 Brothers: ‘either decrepit or old captaynes, maimed or disabled soldiers, merchants fallen on hard times, or those ruined by calamity’. Sutton also founded Charterhouse School, whose alumni include novelist William Thackeray, scouting pioneer Robert Baden-Powell and Methodist cleric John Wesley. The school moved out of London in 1872, but the brothers – and, in the near future, sisters – still live in the ancient community. Architect Eric Parry has designed a new museum, and a ticket will give visitors access to a tour through the grounds, gardens and buildings. Find a Blue Badge guide to give a tour of the surrounding area.